• Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie

    Happy Monday!

    And I do mean Happy!! A few weeks ago I googled myself and I found out that someone had taken my old blog domain and restarted it with all of my information. What in the world, right?

    They used a picture of me, the story of my first husband’s passing, our family picture in the hospital when Tyler was born, my recipes, everything. They even created an almost identical email address to be contacted at. Which was weird considering all of their social media pointed them to my accounts.

    So why after all this is it a happy Monday? Well, because today I received an email that the other account was suspended. Unless the person disputes it, which be crazy to since they are claiming to be me, then the site will stay down. Lets celebrate with Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies!

    pumpkin-chocolate-chip-cookies

    These Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie are sort of dangerous in the sense that you can’t eat just one. It’s like you have good intentions of just having one, but pretty soon there is only one left on the plate and you can’t sit up….

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    These cookies are so easy to throw together and everyone will love them!

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    Adapted from littledairyontheprairie.com

    • 1½ c. brown sugar
    • ¾ c. butter, softened
    • 1 c. pumpkin puree
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • 2 eggs
    • 1½ tsp. cinnamon
    • ½ tsp. ground cloves
    • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
    • 2 c. quick oats
    • 1 c. flour
    • ½ tsp. baking powder
    • ½ tsp. baking soda
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1½ c. semi sweet chocolate chips
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. In large bowl mix butter and sugar together. Add eggs then mix. Add pumpkin and vanilla and mix.
    3. In a separate bowl stir flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking powder, baking soda, salt and oatmeal together.
    4. Add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix together just until combined.
    5. Add chocolate chips and mix in.
    6. Put scoops of dough onto the baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes.
    7. Move cookies to a wire rack to cool.

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    What is your all time favorite cookie?

  • Circus Animal Cheesecake

    Last summer for my sister in laws birthday we had invited her over for dinner and I asked what kind of cake she wanted. She sent me a pinterest picture for this Circus Animal Cheesecake and I was immediately excited to make it! I probably never would have made it for my kids so this was a fun chance to make it. And this way I could send half of it home with her!

    Even though there are several steps to get this Circus Animal Cheesecake made, it is completely worth it! Though it is extremely rich! Again…. totally worth it!

    I felt like it was so pretty that I kept taking pictures of it and didn’t really want to cut into it!

    Recipe from Life, Love and Sugar

    CRUST

    2 1/4 cups frosted animal cookie crumbs
    2 tbsp salted butter, melted

    FILLING

    24 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
    1 cup sugar
    3 tbsp all purpose flour
    1 cup sour cream at room temperature
    1 tbsp vanilla extract
    4 large eggs at room temperature
    2 cups chopped frosted animal cookies, divided

    WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE

    6 oz white chocolate chips
    1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
    Pink gel icing color
    Sprinkles

    WHIPPED CREAM

    1/2 cup cold heavy whipping cream
    4 tbsp powdered sugar
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract

    DIRECTIONS:

    CRUST

    1. Preheat oven to 325°F
    2. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper in the bottom and grease the sides.
    3. Combine the crust ingredients in a small bowl.
    4. Press the mixture into the bottom of the springform pan.
    5. Bake the crust for 10 minutes and set aside to cool.
    6. Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil so that water from the water bath cannot get in.
    7. Set prepared pan aside.

    CHEESECAKE FILLING

    1. Reduce oven to 300°F
    2. In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar and flour until well combined (Use low speed to keep less air from getting into the batter, which can cause cracks). Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
    3. Add the sour cream and vanilla extract, mixing on low speed until well combined.
    4. Add the eggs one at a time, beat slowly and scrape the sides of the bowl after each egg.
    5. Stir in 1 1/4 cups of chopped animal cookies just until mixed, so the colors from the sprinkles don’t mix into the batter too much.
    6. Pour a small amount of batter into the bottom of the crust in an even layer, then add the remaining 3/4 cup of chopped animal cookies.
    7. Pour the remaining cheesecake filling into crust, over the cookies, and spread into an even layer.
    8. Place springform pan inside another larger pan. Fill the larger pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top edge of the aluminum foil on the springform pan.
    9. Bake for 1 hour and 25 minutes.
    10. Turn off heat and leave cheesecake in oven with door closed for 30 minutes.
    11. Crack oven door and leave the cheesecake in the oven for about 30 minutes.
    12. Remove cheesecake from oven and chill until firm, 5-6 hours or overnight.

    TO FINISH OFF THE CHEESECAKE

    1. When the cheesecake is cool and firm, remove from the springform pan and set on a serving plate.
    2. To make the white chocolate ganache start with putting the white chocolate chips in a bowl.
    3. Microwave the heavy whipping cream until it just begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate chips. Allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth. If it doesn’t melt completely, microwave for 10-20 seconds, then whisk until smooth.
    4. Color the ganache with a little pink gel coloring.
    5. Pour the ganache onto the cheesecake and spread into an even layer.
    6. To make the whipped cream, add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl. Mix on high speed until stiff peaks form.
    7. Add dollops of the whipped cream on top of the white chocolate ganache.
    8. Top the cheesecake with frosted animal cookies and some sprinkles. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

    The only thing I was bummed about it not getting a well lit picture of it sliced! It was already getting late by the time we cut into it, but it is still pretty and I was pretty darn proud of how it turned out!

    If this Circus Animal Cheesecake sounds amazing or if you love cheesecake as much as I do, check out The Perfect Cheesecake, Caramel Toffee Crunch Cheesecake, Caramel Apple Cheesecake, and Mini Snickers Cheesecakes.

  • Kid Friendly Lunch Ideas

    This post has been compensated by IHelpMoms.com and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

    As a busy mom of three, kid friendly lunch ideas are so important because the last thing I want to spend a lot of time on is packing lunches. And while my kids like to eat sandwiches they get bored with them so I am always looking for ways to change up lunch time.

    I am super lucky that none of my kids have food allergies to date, but Tyler is my picky kid so sometimes I have to get creative with lunches. He occasionally has school lunch, but I would say at least half of the time he doesn’t like the option and wants to pack a lunch so I wanted to share a few of his favorite lunches to take.

    That is why I love this bento lunch box set from Bentology. The five separate compartments leave lots of room for food for my always hungry kiddos while keeping everything portion controlled.

    And the fun patterns that they come in keep the kids laughing and entertained! They love their emojo set! And I think I need the Flamingo Set!

    Weekly Menu ideas, Recipes, and more on the blog: https://bentology.com/resources/bentology-blog/

    Make sure you look for Bentology on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST

    This one is totally Summer’s ideal lunch! And Tyler won’t touch mac n cheese!

    They aren’t just for school lunches! Sometimes if we are going to be out and about running errands I love to pack a lunch before we head out the door. I know it is just a matter of time before I hear someone from the back seat say, “I’m hungry” and now I am more than prepared!

    Purchase your own kit with a 25% discount right now through 1/22/18! Use the code ihelp25

    And feel free to check out a few of my past Kid Friendly Lunch Ideas and Nutter Butter Ice Cream Cones.

    Right now you can win a Bentology Bento Kit of your very own! Check out the Giveaway below to enter to win!! You have lots of chances to get your name in the running!

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  • Overnight Blueberry Oats

    Breakfast for myself is one of the most difficult meals of the day. I have never been much of a breakfast eater but when I do it is usually a bowl of cold cereal, or a cup of coffee.  And I like oatmeal, but typically covered in butter and brown sugar. So these overnight blueberry oats is something I can get on board with.

    I was raised in a house of breakfast eaters. My dad would make big elaborate breakfasts on the weekends full of pancakes or waffles, french toast, hash browns, eggs and bacon.  The rest of the week my breakfast might consist of a nutrigrain bar.  It is just one of those things that I never made time for.

    While I feel like I go in spurts of wanting breakfast I have done a lot better than in the past mainly because I have chosen to be better about meal planning and making it happen. And making breakfasts like these Overnight Blueberry Oats is definitely a way to keep me on track!

    Overnight Blueberry Oats

    It really is as simple as it sounds.

    1/4 cup dry steel cut oats
    1/4 cup almond milk
    3/4 cup plain greek yogurt
    1 cup blueberries

    1. Mix everything together and cover
    2. Cover and refrigerate overnight
    3. stir and eat (heat for 1 minute if you’d rather eat them warm- I think they are delicious either way!)

    One thing I love about these overnight blueberry oats is that you can replace those blueberries with one cup of strawberries, or peaches or many other fruits to change it up for everyday of the week!

    21 Day Fix: 1 red,  1 purple,  1 yellow for these delicious overnight blueberry oats.

     

    I don’t know about others, but I have a hard time eating greek yogurt because of the texture. I don’t like the thickness of it and I never eat it unless it is in a recipe.  Check out a few more recipes that include Greek Yogurt like this Buffalo Chicken Bowl, Berry Parfait, Ranch Dressing, Slow Cooked Creamy Mexican Chicken, Chicken and Spinach Bake.

    What is your favorite way to eat your oatmeal?

  • Dinosaur Birthday Party

    My little guy isn’t so little any more. Yesterday Tyler turned 7 years old. I know that he really is still “little” but such a big kid too!
    He is loving first grade and I love to watch him grow. His reading and writing is so great and I love having him read stories to me. And he asked for notes cards and envelopes for his birthday so he can write notes. He is so my child.

    For his birthday he asked for a Dinosaur birthday party and as soon as Summer’s Mermaid Party was over I got to work on a few things.

    Dinosaur Birthday Party

    I really wanted to keep food more simpler than I have before. We did food for Carivores: Chicken nuggets and pigs in a blanket. Herbivores: veggies and ranch. And Sweetivores: Dino footprint cookies.

    We also had Dino eggs which were grapes. Dino bones that were pretzels and Dino teeth that were Bugles. We also had green Din-o-mite punch!

    These plates I use are awesome and I use them for every party I have! I just get a can of spray paint and give them a fresh color for whatever our theme is! check out how I made them in this post from Summer’s Tea Party.

    We had several games that we played. The first was just “Pin the head on the skeleton” and I picked that up from Party City for just a couple of dol1ars. It came with 12 skeleton head stickers, a blindfold and the sheet to put up on that wall. The kids could see out of the bottom of the blindfold if you weren’t paying attention. The we had a couple of non cheaters! (Ha!)

    We also played another game where we tied a string to a balloon and tied the other end around the kids waist. Then once they were all ready we let them loose and they had to stomp the other kids balloons to pop them without getting their own popped. The last balloon standing wins. I think we only had three kids that cried….. The others seemed to enjoy it!

    The last game we played was called Feed the dinosaur. Zachary drew this Dino for me and cut out the mouth then we just put a bucket behind it. We had a bag of plastic golf balls from a game we played over the summer that worked perfectly and the kids seemed to love it. They each took multiple turns!

    Then it was time for presents and cupcakes. Tyler got tons of legos, which he loves so he was super excited and couldn’t wait to get building!

    And next was chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting and I used candy corn to make spikes on the back of our Dino!

    To make the leaves I just cut them out with my cricut. Such a time saver!

    I also made shirts for my family. Getting a 15 year old boy to wear a shirt that says “brothersaurus” isn’t easy, but he wanted to stay the night at his friend’s so I told him only if he wore the shirt for the party. #noshameinmygame So here we are: mamasaurus, daddysaurus, brothersaurus, sistersaurus and Tylersaurus.

    Tyler had such a fun party and I think all the kids had a fun time too! You can see the “binoculars” we made using toilet paper rolls, tape and string. Makes for a pretty inexpensive party and the kids enjoyed the time!